Georgia health officials confirm second monkeypox case in the state

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CDC ramps up monkeypox alert , to level 2 .The Center for Disease Control and Prevention raised the level of alert concerning monkeypox June 6.Known global cases of the virus have exceeded 1,000 across 29 countries.An alert level of three, the highest level, would recommend against travel that is nonessential.The agency is encouraging the public to “practice enhanced precautions” to curb the spread of the virus.New guidance issued from the CDC recommends that individuals avoid close contact with other infected people and infected animals.According to reporting on the new guidance, those with visible skin legions could be more infectious. .According to the World Health Organization, the virus has been circulating undetected for “weeks, months or possibly a couple of years.”.Experts say that the ease of international travel is likely a significant reason as to why the virus has spread.Diseases that were locally spread are now able to make their way across countries and continents much more easily, Professor Eyal Leshem, Sheba Medical Center, via CNBC.Meanwhile, interaction between humans and animals has also amplified. , Professor Eyal Leshem, Sheba Medical Center, via CNBC.Experts also say climate change has likely played a role in the speed at which the virus has spread.Climate change has forced some animals into closer contact with humans, you will see more of these types of diseases, Professor Eyal Leshem, Sheba Medical Center, via CNBC.Monkeypox infections are considered rare and the threat to the general public remains low.Symptoms of the virus include headache, fever, swelling, back-pain and muscle ache

Officials emphasized the overall risk to the general public is low, and nothing like the coronavirus.

As the cases of monkeypox continue to rise globally, the Georgia Department of Public Health on Tuesday confirmed a second case of the infectious disease in Georgia.

State epidemiologist Dr. Cherie Drenzek announced the second case of monkeypox at a Georgia Department of Public Health board meeting Tuesday. There are more than 1,600 cases in 39 countries including several countries where the disease does not typically occur including Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Earlier this month, DPH announced the first-ever case in the state — a man who lives in metro Atlanta with a history of international travel. He was ordered into isolation where public health officials are monitoring his symptoms, according to DPH. The agency also traced his recent contacts.

The second case is man who also lives in metro Atlanta and has traveled internationally. DPH said the two cases are not related. DPH is also doing contact tracing at this time and this person is also in isolation. DPH is not aware of any other suspected cases at this time.

Georgia Health officials have said they wouldn’t be surprised to see more cases here and in other states, but emphasized the overall risk to the general public is low, and nothing like the coronavirus.

As of Tuesday, the CDC is tracking 65 confirmed cases of monkeypox or the related “orthopoxvirus” in the U.S. including Georgia’s cases.

“Really the epidemiology is pointing to close, person to person spread, not like COVID,” said Drenzek.

The World Health Organization will convene an emergency committee of experts to determine if the expanding monkeypox outbreak that has mysteriously spread outside parts of Africa should be considered a global health emergency.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said Tuesday the virus has shown “unusual” recent behavior by spreading in countries well beyond parts of Africa where it is endemic. A total of 72 deaths have been reported but none in the newly affected countries which include the U.S.

Combined ShapeCaption
FILE - This 2003 electron microscope image made available by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows mature, oval-shaped monkeypox virions, left, and spherical immature virions, right, obtained from a sample of human skin associated with the 2003 prairie dog outbreak. British health officials said they cannot tell if the spread of monkeypox has peaked in the country as they announced another 45 cases Friday, June 10, 2022. That makes for a total of 366 cases in the biggest-ever outbreak of the disease beyond Africa. (Cynthia S. Goldsmith, Russell Regner/CDC via AP, File)

Credit: Uncredited

FILE - This 2003 electron microscope image made available by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows mature, oval-shaped monkeypox virions, left, and spherical immature virions, right, obtained from a sample of human skin associated with the 2003 prairie dog outbreak. British health officials said they cannot tell if the spread of monkeypox has peaked in the country as they announced another 45 cases Friday, June 10, 2022. That makes for a total of 366 cases in the biggest-ever outbreak of the disease beyond Africa. (Cynthia S. Goldsmith, Russell Regner/CDC via AP, File)

Credit: Uncredited

Combined ShapeCaption
FILE - This 2003 electron microscope image made available by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows mature, oval-shaped monkeypox virions, left, and spherical immature virions, right, obtained from a sample of human skin associated with the 2003 prairie dog outbreak. British health officials said they cannot tell if the spread of monkeypox has peaked in the country as they announced another 45 cases Friday, June 10, 2022. That makes for a total of 366 cases in the biggest-ever outbreak of the disease beyond Africa. (Cynthia S. Goldsmith, Russell Regner/CDC via AP, File)

Credit: Uncredited

Credit: Uncredited

CDC officials said most of the cases have been among men who have sex with men, but anyone can be infected through close contact with a sick person, their clothing or bedsheets.

The virus is spread through close contact with people, animals or material infected with the virus. It enters the body through broken skin, the respiratory tract, the eyes, nose, and mouth, according to the CDC. It also can be spread by respiratory secretions during prolonged, face-to-face contact. Monkeypox can spread during intimate contact between people, including during sex, as well as activities like kissing, or touching parts of the body with monkeypox sores.

Currently, there is no specific treatment approved for monkeypox virus infections. However, antivirals developed for use in patients with smallpox may prove beneficial, according to the CDC. The federal government keeps a stockpile of vaccine that can be used to prevent an infection.

— The Associated Press contributed to this article.